FAIRFIELD (CBS13) – Officials in Solano County have declared a local emergency over the coronavirus situation.

At hospitals and Urgent Care Centers across Solano County,  you’ll see employees handing out face masks, hand sanitizer and asking questions like, “Do you have a cough?” and “Have you recently traveled to Asia?”

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Fairfield resident Charles Allen, like many, voluntarily wears masks around town. He says many are on edge, afraid of the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It makes everybody nervous, so we have to take precautions,” Allen said. “Every time somebody coughs, I get nervous.”

On Thursday, the county announced that it has activated its operations center. The move comes after a patient from Solano has become the first possible instance of “community spread” of the virus.

A “community spread” case of the coronavirus is notable because it means the virus was transmitted to the patient in an unknown way. The CDC says the Solano County person had no relevant travel history nor any exposure to a known coronavirus patient.

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That patient is now receiving treatment at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento after previously being a patient at the North Bay Vacavalley Hospital.

Vacaville Fire Chief, Kris Concepcion says county leaders issued a directive to his department: “don’t transport any new patients to two local hospitals: North Bay Vacavalley Hospital and Northbay Medical Center in nearby Fairfield.

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Both hospitals are back open to patients, as of Thursday morning.

“I have confidence that it’s being handled in an efficient manner,” said Concepcion.

His goal is now to follow CDC orders to keep his staff safe from any potential spread.

“That’s priority for us to make sure our First Responders are safe from anything they respond on,” he said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and other state officials addressed the public on Thursday in the wake of the Solano County case.

“We knew this was inevitable as it relates to the nature of these viruses,” Newsom said.

While Solano County is declaring a local emergency, Gov. Newsom said he felt it wasn’t necessary for the state to declare one as well.

The local emergency declaration will bolster Solano County’s efforts to identify, screen and follow-up with people possible exposed to the coronavirus.

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Solano County health officials held a press conference at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday to address the situation.